Since launching our TV Series we have done a lot of interviews and one question that always finds its way into the mix is ‘what’s your favourite cocktail bar in London?!’ “Well”, I always start with…”it all depends on what you’re looking for, but one of my all-time favourites is The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar”.
The Savoy is no stranger to success, its American Bar has been on the receiving end of some of the highest accolades in the cocktail world, and while Beaufort never seems to be as high on those lists, I’ll be upfront with you – it should.
Maybe it’s the opulently dim-lit atmosphere with rustic furnishings that transport you back to decades ago - where there were no mobile phones, Tinder didn’t exist and people simply lived their lives by communicating in person. It’s places like this where your eyes are not glued to your phones, but the eyes that sit before you. This is the place where ideas are born, friendships flourish and where mixology genius thrives in abundance.
Passion, it’s a defining quality that separates the good from the great and while we live in a world where ‘experience’ is everything it doesn’t take long to see why this bar has received such acclaim for service and attention to detail.
Yes, it’s not the cheapest bar in the world, but if you take a minute to look at the ingredients within each concoction, you’ll see why that is. This isn’t batch, this isn’t cocktails done on the cheap, this is a meticulously planned menu that has taken up to 12 months to perfect and by god does it impress. There’s nothing worse than paying a lot of money for a cocktail that is shite – rest assured that won’t be the case here.
Music, Magic and Drama – no, I’m not summing up my life in three words, this is the name of Beaufort’s new menu, the mixology-child of Joe Harper and Elon Soddu. Inspired by the three founders of The Savoy Theatre; dramatist WS Gilbert, composer Arthur Sullivan and hotelier Richard D’Oyly Carte, this is the trio who made the Savoy’s magic happen.
So, let’s begin with section one. ‘Music’ has been designed as we ease from the late afternoon into early evening, with an impressive selection of vodka and rum forward cocktails alongside a notable sparkling wine and champagne menu focusing on style as opposed to vintage.
Home to mostly gins, mezcals and tequilas the ‘Magic’ section of the menu takes a venture into the world of botanicals, fermentation or fortification. You’ll likely find a little port and sherry thrown into the mix here too. The whole point of Magic is that it loses its enchantment once its trick is revealed. That said, the moment the drink hits your lips your taste buds will be under a spell of their own.
…and last but not least we have, ‘Drama’ playing homage to The Savoy’s cabaret stage with its jet-black and burnished gold décor. Whisky, Calvados, Armagnac, grappa and Cognac are what you can expect to indulge upon within this part of the menu - potent, rich and impactful, just as they should be.
As you sit back in your chair, you let out a sigh of satisfaction. It’s not too often you sit in a room that has been at the centre of so much history and home to some of the most iconic British figures over the decades. While this may be one of the best cocktail bars in the country, it really is so much more than that.
So why not pay The Beaufort a visit and create some magic of your own.
Written by Aidy Smith